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In the southwestern section of Connecticut is Southford Falls State Park, a fantastic place to visit when you book an RV in New Haven County. This state park covers less than 150 acres, but the activities possible within the park are numerous and exciting. The park was established in 1932 but has a rich early settler history that helped shape the park locals and tourists enjoy in modern-day.
The strong flowing waters of the local Eight Mile Brook helped early settlers create an industrial complex along the shores, as the current of the water was strong enough to provide power for gristmills, sawmills, ironworkers, button makers, knife makers, and other local tradesmen. The channel flows between Lake Quassapaug and the Housatonic River, and there is evidence that early settlers reshaped the river’s banks to help strengthen the flow of the river.
Nearby residents of towns like Southbury, Shelton, and Waterbury often visit Southford Falls State Park to enjoy the small assortment of hiking trails in the summer, and the cross-country skiing trails in the winter, and the many months of fishing throughout the year. RV camping at Southford Falls State Park is a great way to enjoy the hiking trails, and given that some of them climb alongside the cascading waterfalls, they can be a small challenge for inexperienced hikers.
During the colder months, the same trails that visitors hike on during the warmer months become cross country skiing paths. These paths have some incline and slopes to them, so be prepared to work when going uphill and enjoy the freeride when heading back down. Although there are no officially marked cross-country skiing trails during the winter, visitors are encouraged to avoid crossing the river unless it is completely frozen.
Motorhome camping near the park is a good way to enjoy the fishing opportunities that the park provides. When you camp in an RV near Southbury, a town just northwest of the park, be sure to update your fishing licenses and pick up some bait and tackle, if necessary. A fishing license is required to fish inside of Southford Falls State Park, and a fine or penalty may be issued to visitors who fish without one.
Although there are no state park RV campgrounds located within Southford Falls State Park, the nearby Kettletown State Park has more than 50 RV campsites, making it easy to still enjoy state park RV camping in the area. This state park is located to the south of Southford Falls State Park and covers more than 600 acres along the Housatonic River. Of the more than 50 RV campsites at the park, the majority of them can accommodate RVs between 20 and 30 feet.
None of the campsites at this campground have electricity, sewer, or water hookups, but centrally located dump stations and water spigots make it easy to stay sanitary. Other amenities at the park include a beach within walking distance, pit and flushing toilets, showers with hot water, a large parking area, a picnic area, and more. There are also hiking trails and a boat ramp nearby, so be sure to tow your boat behind your rental RV when visiting this campground, if possible.
Renting an RV to explore this area of Connecticut will give you the freedom to explore many different towns at your leisure, and one of the nearest towns to Southford Falls State Park is Southbury, which is just northwest. Southbury is home to a few different types of museums, including both the Old Town Hall Museum and the Connecticut Science Museum. The former is a repurposed, restored historic building that showcases how pioneers lived, while the latter is a science-focused museum with child-friendly exhibits.
Although Southbury isn’t huge, there are still plenty of unique and tasty local restaurants and cafes to enjoy while passing through town. Most of the restaurants and eateries in town are located along Main Street, so parking your RV and walking along the street may be a good way to find a place to eat while seeing the town. There are local hotdog and burger stands, diners, pizzerias, and more.
Heading north of the park will bring you to Waterbury, which is home to the Mattatuck Museum, one of Connecticut’s many cultural heritage museums. This museum focused on local history and features exhibits on American art and stories. There is also an in-house cafe where it is possible to grab a bite to eat while viewing the exhibits. South of Waterbury is the Naugatuck Historical Society, which helps tell the story of the greater area through artifacts and locally focused collections.